ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVE

Minneapolis, MN   |  www.environmental-initiative.org

Mission

Catalyze collaboration across perspectives, power, and systems for social equity and environmental health.

Ruling year info

1992

Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Mike Harley

Main address

211 N 1ST St Ste 250

Minneapolis, MN 55401 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Minnesota Environmental Initiative

EIN

41-1718834

NTEE code info

Environmental Quality, Protection, and Beautification N.E.C. (C99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The environmental challenges we face today are more dispersed across our landscape, more deeply intertwined within our economy, and play out along lines of racial and socioeconomic disparity. The scale of effort required is far beyond the resources of any single sector and the only way that we will make progress on these more complex and interconnected environmental problems is to build a society and an economy that works for everyone. This is our great challenge. We must be better together in ways that push far beyond what we’ve been able to accomplish in the past—with a more inclusive community of diverse partners that advances powerful solutions for a healthy environment, a prosperous economy and an equitable society.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Environmental Initiative's Programs

We…

- Are a nonprofit organization working with business, nonprofit, government and community leaders to address complex and systemic issues.
- Facilitate conversations addressing environmental, economic, and public health issues between diverse stakeholders as we work toward social equity and environmental health.
- Take action and implement on-the-ground projects to improve our air, land, and water for all beings.
- Plan and host events for environmental leaders from businesses, nonprofits, government and most-impacted communities to share information, network and learn from one another.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of carbon emissions prevented (estimated by CO2 equivalent)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Environmental Initiative's Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Our carbon emissions prevented vary; we do not request CO2 equivalents from our partners, but have more detailed information on NOx, VOC, and PM2.5 emissions reduction across programs and projects.

Number of corporate volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Environmental Initiative's Programs

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Our corporate volunteers give their time to support our organization and programs, especially our business sustainability efforts.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Environmental Initiative's Programs

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Our volunteers are those who give their time to support our organization and programs.

Number of overall donors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Environmental Initiative's Programs

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This is the number of individual financial supporters who give to Environmental Initiative each year. You can find them listed on our website.

Number of rallies/events/conferences/lectures held to further mission

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Environmental Initiative's Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

We use convenings and events as a primary way to engage with partners across sectors.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Historically, Environmental Initiative has uniquely convened established environmental leaders from business, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. But to truly live our values and create environmental solutions that work for all Minnesotans, we have begun a multi-year effort to transform the organization to center equity and people throughout our work.

To achieve our goals for 2020, we will continue to build our capacity to center equity and people in all of our work to maximize our impact as an organization, including more intentional relationship building with disproportionately impacted communities and communities of color, while still remaining deeply connected to the partners that have helped us achieve the results we have over the past quarter-century.

We recognize that there is not an environmental issue that does not also impact our society and our economy, and that, depending on the color of their skin or zip code, people are affected disproportionately by the issues we have long worked to improve. Our capacity building is ongoing and, more and more, being integrated into our everyday work.

For over 25 years, Environmental Initiative has built partnerships to develop collaborative solutions to Minnesota’s environmental problems. We envision and work towards a healthy environment, prosperous economy and equitable society where leaders are equipped with the relationships, skills and perspective needed to work together to solve our shared systemic and complex environmental problems.

We realize those pressing issues facing our environment aren’t getting any easier as we move into the next 25 years. We know that the environmental challenges we face today are more dispersed across our landscape, more deeply intertwined within our economy and play out along lines of racial and socioeconomic disparity. We know the scale of effort required is far beyond the resources of any single sector, and we are embarking on a journey to better understand how we can help address these inequities to ensure a healthy environment, a prosperous economy and an equitable society.

At our core, we create spaces where people with diverse perspectives can come together, problem-solve and implement solutions in partnership. We believe that we are better together, and that working collaboratively is the only way we’ll be able to solve the big and complicated environmental challenges that face Minnesota, especially in these divisive times. We aspire to achieve greater scale, effectiveness and positive outcomes for Minnesota’s environment.

Environmental Initiative has a highly skilled and capable staff of 21, and we continue to add positions as the need arises. Our staff come from a variety of backgrounds, from government work to community organizing, and have a wide array of skills. By leveraging the areas of expertise of our staff members, we are able to more effectively and efficiently find and implement solutions to environmental challenges with partners. The knowledge and skills possessed by our staff is matched by our Board of Directors and volunteers, who are engaged groups who interact with our organization across programs and projects, adding their input as is necessary and appropriate.

All our work is complemented by our organizational knowledge. Throughout our history, we have refined our convening and facilitation skills, and institutionalized that information to strengthen our work. We are able to be more intentional about helping facilitate conversations between public, private and community groups to help us further achieve our vision of fostering relationships and building capacity for collaboration. We do this by working directly with members of the community or groups representing community interests to reach the neighbors, farmers and organizations whose voices have been historically marginalized and have rarely been invited to be a part of the solution. This looks different in each area of our work, but the one constant is bringing together diverse experiences and expertise in a complementary and collaborative setting. This includes not only technical knowledge but making space for and taking into account community needs and wants, experiential knowledge, and understanding of relationships and power dynamics between stakeholders and the communities they operate in or represent. 

In a practical sense, this means knowing our role and playing to our strengths while helping other partner organizations to do the same. For example, agricultural co-ops, local units of government and local nonprofits have existing relationships with farmers and should continue to work through those relationships to effect change. In the case of our work on community development, it means that we are working directly with community members to help them organize around their vision and are bringing our process, expertise, and relationships with key stakeholders to build a conversation that is framed around the community-led vision.

Environmental Initiative is also fortunate to have a strong base of consistent funders and partners including roughly 350 individual donors, a robust group of more than 70 corporate members who contribute $1,000 - $25,000 or more annually, as well as support from government agencies and foundations. The organization is grateful for this longstanding support and recognizes the critical role of these funds in realizing the organization’s mission.

For a quarter century, Environmental Initiative’s collaborative problem-solving approach has yielded lasting results like:

Cleaner Air. We’ve partnered with equipment manufacturers, mechanics, fleet operators and donors to install pollution control equipment on more than 4,200 diesel engines in Minnesota, worked with dozens of small businesses to procure newer, more efficient equipment, and replaced hundreds of wood stoves in Northern Minnesota. As a result, particulate matter pollution has been reduced by the equivalent of removing 1.2 million cars from the road each year.

Landmark Legislation. We facilitated a conversation between environmental advocates, regulators, agricultural groups and businesses to develop a statewide program to improve water quality. The outcomes of this process provided the policy foundations of the Minnesota’s Clean Water Legacy Act—one of the most aggressive and robust water quality policies in the country.

A Strong Corporate Sustainability Community. Businesses in Minnesota are increasingly embracing their role in addressing society’s environmental challenges. Since 2008, Environmental Initiative has convened the corporate sustainability community to share best practices and amplify improvements within their own organizations and beyond.

As we continue to grow as an organization, we hope to scale up our scope, in order to reach more Minnesotans and have a national impact. To this end, we have begun to expand our work:

Cleaner Air. We’re expanding the area of work of our wood stove replacement program to the Metro Area, in order to replace more stoves state-wide. We continue to find new partners for our clean diesel work, including the City of Saint Paul and Microsoft. Our partners allow us to achieve greater public health benefits, such as cleaner air quality in marginalized communities, so more people can breathe easier.

A Strong Corporate Sustainability Community. We have continued to advocate for and make changes in the direction of a circular economy among our corporate partners. We have adopted clean energy, water, and materials visions that demonstrate the goals of corporate sustainability in Minnesota and have begun to implement projects to achieve those goals.

Sustainable Agriculture Practices. We have increased the scale of our agriculture work, which brings together cross-sector partners, such as farmers, nonprofits, government agencies, and businesses. We encourage sustainable farming practices that benefit the health of the environment and the health of the farm. A new area of work in sustainable agriculture has emerged, working with larger businesses and corporations to drive position environmental change in the upper Mississippi River Basin. We aim to catalyze partnerships between the public and private sectors in order to drive and accelerate innovation in sustainable agriculture.

Financials

ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVE
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVE

Board of directors
as of 12/8/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Joey Vossen

Westwood Professional Services


Board co-chair

Michelle Stockness

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/08/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data